AEM sees global growth

By Chris Sleight19 November 2008

Global construction equipment sales are expected to rise +8.5% this year and a further +5.4% in 2009 according the latest ‘outlook' survey from the US-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

However, the association paints a bleak picture for North America, with the US market expected to fall -8.6% this year and remain flat in 2009. The Canadian market should see a -1.7% drop this year, followed by +2.2% growth in 2009.

On the global level, the strongest growth this year is expected for equipment used in the concrete and aggregates sector, where a +20.4% rise is forecast. Not far behind is the asphalt and bitumen sector, which should see a +16.4% increase. The largest segment of the industry - earthmoving equipment - is expected to enjoy a +6.0% rise in sales this year.

Growth is generally expected to slow but remain positive in 2009. The exception to this is the global lifting equipment market, which is forecast to see stronger growth in 2009. Sales of cranes, rough-terrain forklifts and telehandlers are expected to increase +8.2% in 2009, compared to a more moderate +4.2% rise this year.

Global sales of asphalt and bitumen equipment for the road building sector are also expected to be relatively strong next year, with a growth of +7.8%, compared to +5.4% for the market as a whole.

US troubles

The continued strength of global equipment markets is contrasted by weakness the AEM sees in the US. With a -8.6% fall in demand expected this year, hitting the light equipment and earthmoving markets most severely, and no growth in 2009, the association is calling on the government to invest in infrastructure.

AEM president Dennis Slater said, "We need to get Dollars into the construction pipeline. An immediate increase in public works funding will help jumpstart the US economy. Construction projects are being deferred and our customers are looking for work. It's estimated that there are currently 3000 projects that could begin work within 30 to 90 days of a governmental funding commitment.

"Our aging roads, bridges and highways need repair and upgrades. Committing funds to infrastructure renewal not only provides manufacturing and construction jobs, but also helps ensure we have safe and efficient movement of goods and people. An adequate transportation network is essential to commerce and maintaining US competitiveness in global markets."

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